Announcing the Judges for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize

TORONTO – September 4, 2007 – The trustees of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry are pleased to announce that George Bowering (Canada), James Lasdun (USA), and Pura López Colomé (Mexico) are the judges for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize.

George Bowering was born in Penticton, and now lives in Vancouver, BC. A prolific writer, he has published more than 40 books, including novels, stories, booklength poems and poetry collections, and won many awards. He received the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for The Gangs of Kosmos (1969) and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction for Burning Water (1980). He was Writer in Residence at Concordia University (1967-1968) and the University of Western Ontario (2003-2004). George Bowering was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003 and admitted to the Order of British Columbia in 2004. He served as Canada’s first Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2002 until 2004 and has received honourary degrees (D. Litt) from the University of British Columbia (1994) and the University of Western Ontario (2004).

James Lasdun was born in London and now lives in Woodstock, New York. He has published several books of poetry and fiction. He has received a Guggenheim award for his poetry, and his most recent collection, Landscape with Chainsaw, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Poetry Collection of the year, the T.S. Eliot Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and named one of the Times Literary Supplement’s International Books of the Year. James Lasdun’s novel The Horned Man was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and an Economist Best Book of the Year and his novel Seven Lies was longlisted for the 2006 Man Booker prize and shortlisted for the 2007 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His story The Siege was the basis for Bernardo Bertolucci’s film Besieged. James Lasdun won the inaugural National Short Story Competition in 2006 for An Anxious Man.

Pura López Colomé was born in Mexico City and now lives in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She spent her early years in Mexico City and Mérida, Yucatán, and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She was awarded the Alfonso Reyes National Prize for Young Writers (1977) and the Yearly Fellowship granted by the Mexican Center of Writers for critical writing (1982). She has published nine volumes of poetryincluding El sueño del cazador (The Hunter’s Dream, 1985) and No Shelter: The Selected Poems of Pura López Colomé, translated by Forrest Gander (2002). Pura López Colomé is well-known for her Spanish translations of works by poets such as Samuel Beckett, Bertold Brecht, Seamus Heaney, Rainer Maria Rilke, among others. Her latest poetry collection, Santo y seña (Password) will be published in 2007.

All three judges understand the importance of the Griffin Poetry Prize’s international reach and may consequently call in books of English language poetry from around the world.

Submissions for The Griffin Poetry Prize are accepted up until December 31, 2007. The shortlisted books (four International and three Canadian) will be announced on April 8, 2008 at a press conference in Toronto, Canada.

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For further information, contact:


Elana Rabinovitch
Griffin Trust Press Relations


June Dickenson
Griffin Trust Publicity

General Inquiries

Ruth Smith
Griffin Trust Manager

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